Crust Issues


NomNomNom

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I've been having trouble with my pecan bars, and I'm hoping someone can assist me in solving this problem.

I currently make my pecan bars with a shortbread crust. I use a nonstick spray on the pan, but when removing the bars (before cutting), I've noticed that the bottom of the crust has little holes or divots randomly in it. The holes in the crust aren't because the crust is sticking to the pan - there is no residual crust on the pan after removing the pecan bars - it's almost as if there are air bubbles causing the crust to collapse inwards during baking. I'm also getting a little bit of a "bleed through" randomly on the crust that is causing a sort of discoloration from golden to dark brown (see photo).

Because I sell my dessert bars at farmer's markets, it's important to me that I solve this issue, but I'm not sure what my options are. Is this something a dough sheeter could fix? Something else? Any ideas/advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Becky

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Welcome to the forum!

That looks weird, I don't think I've ever seen that before. Do you blind bake the pastry before the filling goes in?
 

Diane Lane

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Wow, I've never seen anything like that either. Do the depressions typically come in the same places, or are they randomly placed? The reason I'm wondering, is if they're always in the same places, perhaps there's some imperfection in the pan at those places, or perhaps the temperature in your oven is uneven for some reason, and is causing it? Since I don't sell my baked goods, I'd probably just try putting half nuts or fruit on top in those spots if they are habitually in the same areas. I also wonder the same thing as Becky, whether you pre-bake the crust a bit first, and if not, maybe that would help to resolve the issue.
 

ChesterV

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This is a rare thing to happen, but I've had it happen to me.

Can you give me the recipe you use? I can better understand if I can see the recipe...ingredients and instructions.
 

NomNomNom

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Sorry for the delay in my reply, all. Thanks for the warm welcome and assistance!
The recipe is as follows:

For the crust:
1 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour

Instructions
1. Beat butter until smooth.
2. Add brown sugar, and powdered sugar.
3. Add flour.
4. Mix until it's one giant mass of dough.
5. Press into the bottom of a 9x13-inch pan.
6. Smooth by hand.
7. Using wax paper to cover it, roll over with a can of monster to further smooth.
8. Flatten edges to level.
9. Bake for 12 minutes.


For the Filling/Top:
6 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla
4 Tbsp butter, melted
2 cups chopped pecans

Filling Instructions
1. Beat eggs until no globs in egg whites.
2. Add sugar.
3. Add corn syrup and vanilla.
4. Add melted butter.
5. Add pecans and pour onto crust.
6. Bake 34 minutes until not soupy.

It tastes absolutely fantastic, but we can't seem to figure out what's causing it. The parchment paper didn't seem to make a difference and it seems to be happening randomly/inconsistently. It doesn't happen every time, and it doesn't happen just to one of us making it. Any additional insight you can provide would be greatly appreciated!
 
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Becky

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Hmmm... I'm still not sure. When I make shortcrust pastry I use very cold ingredients - I cut up chilled butter into cubes, put them in the flour, then put the bowl into the freezer for 10-15 mins. I then whizz it up with the other ingredients in a food processor until I get a dough. At the very least, you could chill the pastry before blind baking it - you never know it might help.

Something you could perhaps try is pricking the base with a fork before blind baking to let the air escape. Some people also do an egg wash over the pastry which forms a seal between the pastry and the filling - both things might be worth a try.
 
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